The UK workforce has turned to vocational training in the downturn with sparkies being the most popular choice.

Almost 100,000 people are learning to become electricians as the UK turns to vocational training during the financial crisis.

According to new figures from the City & Guilds, around 97,411 people are training as electricians, making it far and away the most popular vocational training. The next most popular is social care, with 62,987 and then hairdressing, with 47,506. Across the country vocational learning has risen by 11% in the last 12 months.

Chris Jones, drector general of City & Guilds. said: “Our learner data reveals that Britain really has got talent. Growing numbers of people are recognising the value of work-related learning and equipping themselves with the right skills and training they need to succeed and lead in today’s fast-paced economy.

“With apprenticeships and work-related learning now a firm priority on the UK’s education agenda, demand for skills-based courses has never been higher.”

The figures also show that the number of people entering ’green trades’ is up, with 2,679 studying energy efficiency, 619 studying conservation and 556 studying environmental studies.